As we move into 2020, small businesses are taking advantage of technology now more than ever.
From finding new ways to connect to customers to implementing digital payment software, small investments in technology are showing big returns for small businesses across America.
Every New Year brings new opportunities for you and your business to learn and grow. As technology continues to transform the way we work and interact with others, follow these trends to set your business up for success as we enter the next decade.
Small Businesses are Going Digital
“Going digital” is a popular statement in the business world today. Although some businesses are skeptical about digital solutions, they fail to take into account the technology tools they already use to operate their business.
If your business uses email to communicate or conferencing software to meet with multiple parties around the world at once, your business is already on the path of going digital. Finding ways to advance the way your business uses technology does not have to be difficult or expensive. Whether you just launched your business or are looking for ways to stay ahead, technology is constantly growing and providing small businesses with opportunities to improve efficiency and increase profits.
Small Businesses are Using Social Media
It is nearly impossible to scroll on any social media platform without noticing promotional or branded content. Not only can small businesses save time and money by using social media to advertise, but they can also reach a larger audience than what is possible with traditional advertising methods. For example, a Facebook ad is much more likely to save money and reach a larger audience than a traditional billboard advertisement.
Advertising on social media also allows your business to reach a more targeted audience (those that are more likely to be interested in your product or service). Unlike commercials and newspapers ads, social media platforms use special coding methods to place paid advertisements in the right place, at the right time, in front of the right people. Social media comes with its share of pros and cons, but small businesses will find more benefits than risks in terms of advertising their business and connecting with customers around the world.
Small Businesses are Accepting Digital Payments
When it comes to accepting payment methods, the data speaks for itself: accept digital payments or continue to lose profits. A May 2012 survey by Intuit GoPayment, a credit card processor, found that while only 45% of small businesses in the U.S. accept credit cards, 83% of those small businesses make more revenue than their competitors. Implementing digital payment software is not only more convenient for your customers and business, but it also helps drive revenue and capture more business.
A number of studies have shown that consumers are likely to spend up to 100% more when using a digital payment method versus cash or check. Digital payments are becoming an essential part of any successful business, and the digital processing fees amount to far less than the amount of lost business. As Philip Parker, founder of CardPaymentOptions.com, says, “…The consequence is lost sales. This is a fact.”
Thankfully, payment solution software is both affordable and widely available from industry-leading companies, such as ClearGate’s easy-to-use software, PayUp – a new, free app launching soon. Their software allows businesses of any size to process payments, check payment statuses, and create custom reports at the touch of a button.
Small Businesses are Securing Their Data
As mentioned before, the days of cash, check, and swiping your credit card are over. Along with the rise of technology comes the rise in large-scale data breaches and identity theft for businesses and customers worldwide.
Card companies have met this challenge by implementing chip-enabled payment technologies, while small businesses find ways to further secure their data with software programs, much like Cleargate’s Payment Solutions. Outside of offering a virtual terminal for processing payments, Cleargate also uses a unique combination of two data security techniques – encryption and tokenization – to ensure small businesses receive the flexibility, reliability, and security they need.
Whatever method of digital payment software you choose, securing customers’ sensitive financial information is of the utmost importance.
Technology is becoming a critical component of any successful business. As consumers continue to give way to the latest trends in technology (social media and eWallets, for example), they are also paying attention to how businesses are – or are not – using technology to enhance security, convenience, and communication.
Staying in tune with technology trends is no longer a ‘nice-to-have’ but increasingly considered a ‘must-have’ for any small business. As technology becomes the new standard, keep an eye on digital trends to ensure your business does not get left behind.